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Living & Working: Covid-19


By Art Practical Editors March 25, 2020

COVID-19 poses unprecedented challenges across sectors. Public policies and governmental responses are in flux and changing daily. Amidst this uncertainty, educational institutions are in upheaval, and many arts organizations are closed, leaving a growing number of workers in the lurch. 

In the past two weeks, we have seen artists, educators, cultural workers, and organizations come together in this unsettling moment to conceive of mutual aid strategies to soothe anxieties and promote collective action to support the wellbeing of the most vulnerable of our populations.

At Art Practical, we have compiled a selection from the many proliferating online lists and guides in response to COVID-19 directed to artists, art educators, cultural workers, and cultural organizations. While certainly not all-encompassing, we hope that this list can direct our readers to useful resources and strategies, as the situation rapidly evolves. 

This list was compiled by Katherine Hamilton and Daniel Paul Thomas. Art Practical offers this list as a resource, and makes no claims about the efficacy or warranties of each network or organization.

Covering Basic Needs

We hope that public policy and mutual aid interventions will continue to expand and ameliorate the urgent and basic needs of artists, elders, youth, parents, the already disenfranchised and underprivileged, and the unemployed. Emergency grants, medical and financial aid, and food pickup locations are listed below. 

Free Meals

Where to Get Free School Lunch in the Bay Area - A map and comprehensive listing by KQED of all the schools offering free meals in the Bay Area. Check local district websites for updates and hours.

Mutual Aid Networks

Bay Area Senior/Disability/Worker Mutual Aid Form - Mutual aid network to support seniors, disabled folks, and workers in the Bay Area.

East Bay Disabled Folks COVID19 Support Request Form & East Bay Disability Ally Form - Mutual aid network to support disabled folks in the East Bay whose needs are not being met. 

Coronavirus Mutual Aid, Donations, Material Resource Sharing - A compiled list of mutual aid networks in the Bay Area to request or redistribute money and resources.

Seattle Artists Relief Fund - Dispersed payments to support individual artists in the greater Seattle Area who need assistance. 

Resources for Artists and Organizations amid COVID-19 - Grants, funds, and mutual aid networks for artists and arts organizations in Seattle.

Immune Compromised People in Need & Willing to Help Immune Compromised People in Need - Mutual aid network to request and provide support to the immunocompromised population.

Collective Care Is Our Best Weapon against COVID-19 - A comprehensive list of mutual aid networks across the United States and beyond.

Coronavirus Resource Kit - This toolkit for those who are facing hardships due to the lack of social net provided by the state supplies a breadth of resources and contact information specific to many states, cities, and neighborhoods in the U.S. 

Financial Solidarity Sheet - Mutual aid network to request funds.

COVID-19 Mutual Aid & Advocacy Resources - Advocacy resource to build community through personal preparation, collective care, and mutual aid.

Unemployment & Emergency Grants

California’s Employment Development Department - Services for people affected by COVID-19 in California, including resources for workers and employers.

CERF+ Emergency Assistance - Offers cash grants for artists of all kinds who are infected with the COVID-19 virus and require intensive medical care.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants - Offers COVID-19 relief of $1000 to artists in the United States whose exhibitions or performances have been cancelled. 

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants - Offers visual artists one-time grants of up to $5000 for medical emergencies. All grants are reviewed in May/June. 

Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grants - Offers up to $15,000 for painters, printmakers, and sculptors who have been practicing their medium for over ten years who require financial assistance due to an unforeseen catastrophic event. 

Haven Foundation Emergency Grants - Offers interim financial assistance for artists who are struggling financially. They have also listed organizations who they have given cash funding to as they do not supply emergency grants themselves. 

The Complete List of Emergency Funds/Grant for Visual Artists - List compiled by visual artist Steve Giovinco of emergency grants specifically for visual artists. 

Emergency Funds – All Art Forms - List compiled by WomenArts of organizations providing emergency cash grants for artists of all kinds.

Emergency Relief Programs - List compiled by the Alliance of Artist Communities of emergency grants for artists of all kinds. 

COVID-19 Emergency Funding and Artist Resources - List compiled by I Care If You Listen of emergency grants and relief programs for artists and musicians. 

Find Remote Work Online - List of websites to find remote work. 

Legal Assistance

Legal Aid at Work: FAQ & Workers’ Rights Clinics - Legal Aid at Work has compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on workers, and is hosting remote Workers’ Rights Clinics for low income and unemployed populations across the Bay Area. 

BayLegal Remote Service - BayLegal’s offices are closed, but they are reachable via their free Legal Advice Hotline and Health Consumer Hotline. 

COVID-19 Advocacy and Resources - A list of resources from the Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund for those affected by the pandemic and may require legal aid. 

California Lawyers for the Arts - Offers core legal services to artists and educational programs online on a sliding scale basis ranging from free to "pay what you can."

COVID-19 Updates & Taking Care

These links direct readers to general information about the impact of COVID-19 and governmental responses to the pandemic. Stay up to date with your state and county.

City and County of San Francisco Public Health COVID-19 Information - Daily updates on COVID-19 in San Francisco, by the California Department of Public Health.

Alameda County Public Health COVID-19 Information - Daily updates on COVID-19 in Alameda County, by the California Department of Public Health.

California Department of Public Health COVID-19 information - Daily updates on COVID-19 for the state of California, by the California Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 Responses & Resources - List of local resources, updates, and advocacy in the State of California, organized by county, put together by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

COVID19 Effect Preparation Worksheet - A worksheet individuals can complete to create an emergency plan and preparation for COVID-19 disruptions.

Talking to Children about Coronavirus - Article from PBS about discussing COVID-19 and the global pandemic to young children. 

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation during an Infectious Disease Outbreak - Guidance on taking care of one’s mental health during the pandemic, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States - Report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on how the novel coronavirus has already impacted and will continue to impact equity relations in the United States as well as globally.

How To Stay Healthy & Show Up For Racial Justice in the Face of COVID-19 - This resource document lists tools, resources, and readings one can use to continue to practice social justice in our communities while staying safe and healthy in one’s home during the pandemic. 

Some Things to Consider Before Movement Gatherings During COVID-19 - Document developed by social worker Maryse Mitchell-Brody outlining some key points to consider when thinking about how to facilitate social justice work in one’s community. 

Teaching, Working, and Collaborating from Home

For those working from home, Zoom meetings—replete with echo, lag, interruptions from pets and children, and voyeuristic looks into colleagues’ homes—are the new normal. Arts educators, particularly, face the challenge of creating a remote pedagogy in a subject area traditionally founded on face-to-face encounters with and among students and direct manipulation of materials. Refer to these links for tips on staying productive, curious, and growth-oriented during the pandemic.

Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19 - Article by Vanderbilt professor Aimi Hamraie on how to successfully convert one’s class onto an online platform that acknowledged an array of accessibility needs. 

Teaching Art Online Under COVID-19 - Essay on Hyperallergic reflecting on some of the difficulties all teachers are experiencing while moving their classes online, and some methods through which educators can move through them. 

Online Art & Design Studio Instruction in the Age of "Social Distancing" - Facebook group for those teaching arts and design courses who have had to transfer their course material online to connect, share ideas and experiences, and collaborate.

A Comprehensive List of Tips, Tools, and Examples for Event Organizers During the Coronavirus Outbreak - Tips for rescheduling and thinking of alternative ways to host and plan events.

Working in a Coronavirus World - Article outlining strategies and tools for staying productive while working from home.

Remote Collaboration Tools


Resources for Artists & Arts Organizations

Art galleries, museums, and non-profits typically sustain the tradition of the live, embodied encounter with artworks, but such a tradition is unfeasible in a time of social distancing. Here are some resources for arts organizations to continue to serve artists and art audiences and supporting cultural workers. 

Alliance of Artist Communities: COVID-19 Preparedness for Residencies - A resource sheet compiled by the Alliance of Artist Communities for those whose residencies have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. 

American Alliance of Museums: Health in the Workplace - An article on how museum workplaces can best support their workers and keep the public informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Art Newspaper: List of Resources addressing the economic impact of coronavirus on the cultural sector - This article lists grants, networking sheets, and other resources potentially useful to those whose financial situation has been compromised by the pandemic. 

Artists’ Literacies Institute: List for Documenting Artists’ and Cultural Workers’ Lost Income due to COVID-19: An anonymous list of artists’ and cultural workers’ lost income during the COVID-19 health crisis.

ArtsReady: Emergency Preparedness for Arts Organizations - ArtsReady, an online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits, provides arts organizations with customized business continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability.

California Arts Council: COVID-19 California Arts Field Survey - A survey to help track, understand, and assess COVID-19’s impact on artists and arts organizations.

Common Field: COVID-19 Resources for the Artist Organization Field - A crowd-sourced list compiling resources, ideas, thinking and information surrounding best organizational practices during pandemics and other emergencies.

Creative Capital: List of Arts Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak - This resource document lists emergency grants for artists, tools to plan remote meetings, and open calls.

COVID-19 & Freelance Artists - This resource document directed specifically at helping freelance artists includes legal and financial resources, health and mental health resources, events, and tools for teaching and working remotely. 

Howlround Theatre Commons Panel: Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic (ASL & Captioned) for US-Based Freelance Artists and Cultural Workers in all Disciplines - This video panel held on March 16, 2020 addresses some ways creative communities can support each other during this financial crisis the COVID-19 outbreak has caused. 

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